The EE BAFTA Film Awards took place on Sunday 16th February at the Royal Opera house in London and honored the best national and foreign films of 2013. Hosted by Stephen Fry, Alfonso Cuarón‘s stunning science fiction thriller Gravity won the most awards with six of its eleven nominations, David O Russel‘s American Hustle came second with three wins and in joint third place was 12 Years a Slave and The Great Gatsby.
After Stephen Fry took the podium to open the show he handed over to rapper Tinie Tempah opened the ceremony with a duet featuring Laura Mvula who serenaded the celebrity packed Opera house. During the ceremony tributes were also paid to those that sadly passed in the last twelve months who included the likes of Shirley Temple, Eileen Brenan, Paul Walker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Peter O’Toole.
12 Years a Slave won the Best Film award and its lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Lead Actor. Cate Blanchett won the Best Lead Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and dedicated her win to her friend and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Barkhad Abdi won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Paul Greengrass’ Captain Philips and unsurprisingly Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in David O. Russel’s American Hustle.
Bringing the ceremony to a close, Jeremy Irons and the Duke of Cambridge presented Helen Mirren with the coveted BAFTA Fellowship award who climbed to the stage and began her acceptance speech by blowing a kiss to her husband. She then talked about her teacher, Mrs Welding, who inspired her to become an actress. Also talking time to thank a whole ‘carnival’ of characters that make up the ‘army’ that is required to make a film, Dame Helen Mirren closed her acceptance speech by thanking her family and co-stars for their support and said that the award was her encouragement to continue making films.
On reflection, I agree with most of the awards that were given out and believe wholeheartedly that Dame Helen deserved her Fellowship award. However, I can’t help but think that there was something amiss with the Best Supporting categories. For example, Michael Fassbender was more deserving for his truly evil portrayal of the evil slave owner Edwin Epps in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. His performance not only exceeded Abdi’s performance but bested it too. As for Best Supporting Actress, it came as no surprise to me that Jennifer Lawrence won considering her popularity but I feel this award should have gone to Lupita Nyong’o as her performance in 12 Years a Slave was equally outstanding.
Here are the full list of winners:
Best Animated Film: Frozen
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Kieran Evans (Kelly & Victor)
Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips)
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Peter Greenway
Best Original Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope (Philomena)
EE Rising Star: Will Pouter
Best Leading Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Best Leading Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Film: 12 Years a Slave
BAFTA Fellowship Winner: Dame Helen Mirren
Best Film Not in the English Language: The Great Beauty
Best Special Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny (Gravity)
Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby)
Best Make-Up and Hair: Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell, Katherine Gordon (American Hustle)
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing
Best Editing: Dan Hanley, Mike Hill (Rush)
Best Sound: Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro (Gravity
Best Production Design: Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby)
Best British Short Animation: Sleeping With the Fishes
Best British Short Film: Room 8